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Social Security helps people with kidney disease - Chambersburg Public Opinion PDF Print

Every March, we pay special attention to the kidney, an organ vital to a healthy life. This week, we pay attention to the importance of kidney health and about what to do if you think you or a loved one has a kidney-related disability.

Kidney disease prevents kidneys from cleansing blood to its full potential. Did you know that one out of three Americans is currently at high risk for developing kidney disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, and most of them don't even know it.

Ebie is a prime example. Ebie was an emergency room worker with an active life at work, home, and in his community. He had no idea he'd developed a kidney condition until one day he felt ill while driving to work and had to call a coworker for help.

Social Security's Faces and Facts of Disability website features Ebie's story at at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts.

If a kidney disease such as end-stage renal disease (known as ESRD) requires chronic dialysis and prevents you from working, Social Security may be able to help. If you're undergoing dialysis, have had a kidney transplant, have persistent low creatinine clearance levels, or have persistent high serum creatinine levels, you may qualify for disability or Medicare benefits.

Learn more about eligibility based on kidney disease and the benefits available to you by reading the publications, Disability Benefits and Medicare, both available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

Listed as one of Social Security's Compassionate Allowance conditions, kidney cancer is another condition that may qualify you for disability and Medicare benefits. The Compassionate Allowances program helps in cases where a person's medical condition is so severe it obviously meets Social Security's disability standards — allowing quick processing of the disability application and payment of benefits.

Find more information about Compassionate Allowances by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

Drink plenty of water, go for checkups, and if you think you may have a kidney disease, take action right away! As Ebie says, "quality of life is everything."

If you think you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits based on a kidney disease, apply online for benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityssi.

Oscar Torres-Torres is district manager of Chambersburg's Social Security office.


Miller Children's Hospital to Open New Pediatric Nephrology and Urology Center - Long Beach Post PDF Print

For Elizabeth Nario, life in a wheelchair hasn't held her back.

The 20-year-old has been a patient of Miller Children's Hospital's Pediatric Urology and Nephrology Program since she was just a few days old, when she was diagnosed with spina bifida.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect in the United States, with an estimated 166,000 people in the country living with the condition. It occurs in about seven of every 10,000 babies born in the U.S.

elizabethnariophoto "Other than all the procedures and appointments that are involved, spina bifida hasn't affected my life as much," Nario said in an interview with the Long Beach Post. "I live my life day to day. I'm usually not one to take my disability as seriously. There are many challenges that anyone would go through when having a disability, and all we can do is know that everything's going to turn out fine in the end."

Nario said her care in the Pediatric Urology and Nephrology Program, which cares for patients ranging in age from 10 days to 21 years old living with conditions like nephrotic syndrome and spina bifida, has in part helped her stay strong.

The hospital hopes to care for even more patients like Nario when it opens a full nephrology and urology outpatient center later this year.

The new center, which is slated for a June opening, will be about 3,400 square feet and will feature a specialized room for urodynamics, an X-ray system that studies the functions of the bladder. This technology will be the first of its kind in Long Beach, with the closest current offerings at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Children's Hospital Orange County.

"When there's no service of this kind in this area, then the patient will go outside the city," said Dr. Deepak K. Rajpoot, Director of Pediatric Nephrology at Miller Children's Hospital in an interview with the Post. "This will outshine other hospitals for Long Beach area residents because people don't want to travel 30 miles in traffic to go to the hospital."

The current program, which has two nephrology doctors and five urology doctors, serves between 1,700 and 1,800 outpatient visits, but Rajpoot said he estimates the new center can serve between 2,500 and 3,000 outpatient visits.

The new center is looking to be a convenience for its patients because it will offer services, like basic ultrasound, that patients would have had to go to multiple places for before.

"They can take care of everything in one place," Rajpoot said. "That's pretty much the concept of this new center is that the hospital wants to care for the community in one setting because nephrology and urology are so closely related that the patient doesn't have to keep making two appointments. That's the goal and the vision. I think we are on the track of getting to the full center designation with this new center that the hospital is expanding to. There's an acute need for pediatric urology in the Long Beach area. I think the hospital expanding in terms of specialized procedures and urology will help the community a lot."


CardioBreak: Renal Denervation Again, NOAC Reversal Agents - MedPage Today PDF Print

While both Boston Scientific and Medtronic are getting back to work with renal denervation, Forbes notes that pivotal phase III trials with the new generation of devices probably won't start until 2016.

Meanwhile, 2015 could be "the prime-time year for prehypertension," Journal of the American Heart Association editorialists declared in response to a large meta-analysis indicating significantly increased coronary heart disease risk at even 120 to 129/80 to 84 mmHg, particularly in the Western world.

Two models of the HeartWare ventricular assist device controllers put out during clinical trials before FDA approval (1400 and 1401XX) are being urgently recalled due to susceptibility to electrostatic discharge that could halt the pump.

The recall (an expansion from one started in 2013) is expected to affect about 120 patients in the U.S., Trends-in-Medicine reports.

A novel clot aspiration system tested in stroke also appeared "safe, effective" in the peripheral arteries in PRISM trial results presented at the Society for Interventional Radiology meeting.

The American College of Cardiology released abstracts Monday from its upcoming conference for all but the late-breaking items and those featured in the press program.

While it's the first time the ACC has provided early access (conference organizers said they wanted attendees to be able to plan what to attend), other heavy hitters like the American Society of Clinical Oncology have done so for years, in part due to stock market concerns.

One notable abstract released was that of the phase III Annexa-R trial. While actual results aren't in the abstract, drugmaker Janssen announced that it showed that novel andexanet alpha significantly reversed the anti-clotting effect of rivaroxaban (Xarelto) in healthy individuals.

Andexanet alfa gained orphan drug status from the FDA, putting it in line to be the first universal antidote to the factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulants, drugmaker Portola Pharmaceuticals announced.

Accelerated approval is also being sought for idarucizumab as a reversal agent for dabigatran (Pradaxa), Boehringer Ingelheim announced.

Hello, snowbirds: Mount Sinai Hospital is following the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic in expanding into warmer climes. The New York City institution's cardiovascular service is partnering with Jupiter Medical Center in South Florida. But don't confuse it with the Mount Sinai Medical Center Heart Institute already in South Florida, which is affiliated with Columbia University.

Giving a baby with congenital heart disease its own umbilical cord stem cells could be a feasible treatment in the future, early phase research in piglets suggested.

An autonomic nerve stimulation device (the Vitaria system) was approved in Europe to treat moderate-to-severe heart failure with ejection fraction less than 40% in patients symptomatic despite stable, optimal medication, device maker Cyberonics announced.

Limited availability of Sorin's tissue heart valves should be coming to an end. The company announced that maintenance of clean rooms at its Italian facility was completed ahead of schedule.

CardioBreak is a guide to what's new and interesting on the Web for cardiologists and other healthcare professionals with an interest in cardiovascular disease, powered by theMedPage Today community. Got a tip? Send it to us: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Voices from the history of dialysis part of special Web project - NephrologyNews.com PDF Print

The Nephrology Oral History project, started in 2007, now has 17 edited interviews with recordings that highlight the courage and persistence of the people working to improve dialysis treatment over the past six decades.

The project’s first interview is with Dr. Robert Gutman, who began his nephrology career working in Dr. Scribner’s program in Seattle. Recollections by Eli Friedman highlight the amazing transformation from chronic kidney disease as a fatal illness to a treatable disease. Dr. Richard Hamburger gives a personal account of the beginning of CMS regulations and dialysis oversight that form the basis of the dialysis regulatory environment today.

In 2008 and 2009, nephrology pioneers Chris Blagg and Jack Cole participated in audio interviews. In his recording, Dr. Blagg recalls early outpatient dialysis at the Seattle Artificial Kidney Center, mixing dialysate in Sweden Freezer tanks, and the early commitment to home dialysis by the Seattle program. Jack Cole tells personal stories about Belding Scribner, making Scribner shunts at the bedside, and setting up Skeggs-Leonard and Kiil dialyzers.

The Nephrology Oral History project is made possible through the generous gift of time from the interviewees and by the sponsors who supported the website development. Visit the Voice Expeditions website at www.voiceexpeditions.com to listen to the voices of dialysis pioneer nephrologists, nurses, and patients as they describe early dialysis and kidney disease experiences.


Lycopene may ward off kidney cancer in older women - Medical Xpress PDF Print

A higher intake by postmenopausal women of the natural antioxidant lycopene, found in foods like tomatoes, watermelon and papaya, may lower the risk of renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer.

A team led by Cathryn Bock, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of Oncology at Wayne State University's School of Medicine, made the conclusion after analyzing data from 96,196 women nationwide and in Detroit who enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative from 1993 to 1998 and were followed through July 2013 by participating initiative sites, including Wayne State University.

"We were surprised to observe a protective effect of lycopene, as several previous studies in other populations did not detect a similar relationship," Bock said.

The results are explained in "Antioxidant micronutrients and the risk of in the Women's Health Initiative cohort," featured in the Feb. 15 issue of Cancer.

The investigators analyzed the risks for kidney cancer associated with intake of lycopene and other micronutrients that have antioxidant properties, including lutein and vitamins C and E. During follow-up, 240 women were diagnosed with kidney cancer. Compared with women who reported a lower intake of lycopene, those who ingested more had a 39 percent lower risk. No other micronutrient was significantly associated with the same risk.

The 63,920 estimated new cases of kidney and renal pelvis cancer in 2014 made up 3.8 percent of all new cancer cases, according to the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. In 2011, there were an estimated 358,603 people living with the cancer in the United States.

It is the eighth-leading cancer among women and is commonly diagnosed at a more advance stage.

"Kidney cancer is a relatively rare cancer, and so focusing only on reducing risk of this disease would be short-sighted," Bock said. "Rather, a diet focused on one's own personal risk factors, such as family history, would be more beneficial."

A low-salt diet is recommended for women with a risk of hypertension, a major risk factor for kidney cancer. There are other steps women can take now for their health, including eating more foods and fruits with naturally-occurring lycopene.

"Lycopene from food sources has also been associated with decreased risk of breast and prostate cancers, and a diet high in vegetables and fruits are generally well-accepted for promoting good health," she said.

Good sources of lycopene include tomatoes and tomato-based products, watermelon, pink grapefruit, guava and papaya. Dr. Bock suggests consulting a doctor before taking a lycopene supplement.

The team is now examining whether there is a relationship between antioxidant nutrient intake and risk in a National Cancer Institute-funded case-control study primarily conducted with participants from the metropolitan Detroit area.

"This study included a broader population, including both men and women, and with greater representation of African-Americans, and therefore may help describe the associations in populations beyond post-menopausal who are primarily of European descent," Dr. Bock said.

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